Tourists from all over the world can visit numerous sights in Munich. Whether historical buildings, urban parks, museums & galleries, statues, squares or modern architecture: Starting with this blog post we want to present to you one of the sights once a month. Therefore we won’t give you just general information but rather give you insider tips. Our first post focuses one of the main sights in the inner city: the Marienplatz in Munich.
History of the Marienplatz (Mary’s Square) in Munich
The Marienplatz in Munich is “the heart of the city” since the city was founded in 1158 by Henry the Lion. Originally the square, which is about 100 meters long and 50 meters wide, was just called “market square” and was located at the intersection of the main roads. Therefore it was a place for the various markets in Munich during the early centuries. The former fish market was located nearby the still existing fish fountain for example.
Nowadays the Marienplatz (Mary’s Square) is named after the Mariensäule (Mary’s Column), which was erected in 1638 by elector Maximilian I. The eleven-meter-high column with a gilded statue of Mary (the patron saint of Bavaria) on top was built to show gratitude that Munich was almost spared of the destruction by the Swedes during the Thirty Years’ War. Today the column is still used as the topological center of Bavaria for topographical surveys.
On the occasion of the Olympic Summer Games in Munich, the Marienplatz became a pedestrian area in 1972. Since then it is one of the “starting points” for a shopping trip through the famous Kaufingerstrasse which connects as a pedestrian zone the Marienplatz with the Stachus.
Sights at the Marienplatz in Munich
On and around the Marienplatz in Munich you will find the following sights:
- Old Town Hall with arches and a tower
- New Town Hall with its world famous Glockenspiel in the tower alcove (Daily at 11 a.m., 12 noon, and 5 p.m. in summer, from November to February not at 5 p.m.)
- Mary’s Column
- Fish fountain
Platzl Hotel Munich – Insider Tip: Marienplatz
To enjoy the view over the city many tourists go up to the 91 meter high tower of the parish church of St. Peter (“Old Peter”) located near by the Marienplatz. Therefore this place is sometimes a bit crowded. A good alternative is the 85 meter high tower of the New Town Hall at Marienplatz. In contrast to the “Old Peter” the viewing platform has an elevator.
Events at the Marienplatz in Munich
As the “heart of the city” the Marienplatz is used for numerous events including:
- City Foundation Festival
- Munich Christmas Market
The Marienplatz in Munich is one of the hubs of public transport. There is a station for all suburban train lines as well as a stop of the underground lines U3 and U6 in the underground.
Guests of the Platzl Hotel Munich can reach the Marienplatz in less than five minutes by feet.